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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 22, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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04/22/16 04/22/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: on our 100 city to her in -- door in denver, colorado, this is democracy now! >>. tubman, born a slave, illiterate her whole life, brought many people out of slavery through the underground railroad, time and again risking her own life to save others. she did intelligence for our army during the civil war. to get theorked
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woman's suffrage movement going. it is a great american story. amy: from the underground railroad to the $20 bill. the treasury department announces it will feature the iconic abolitionist harriet tubman on the front, replacing former president and slave owner andrew jackson who will be moved to the back of the bill. but some say, "to put harriet tubman on the $20 bill would be an insult to her legacy." then, the untimely death of the legendary musician prince. purple rain purple rain ♪ amy: we will look at the life and legacy of prince. his gender bending performances, congress, and jazz. then as we broadcast from colorado, marijuana is legal. we look at who stands to cash in
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on the billions generated by cannabis sales. we will speak with the first african-american woman in colorado to own a cannabis dispensary. she became politicized after her brother was arrested for marijuana and spent the next 4.5 years picking cotton at a texas prison. and today is earth day. as leaders meet today to sign the paris climate agreement , we will look at a growing movement to stop the extraction of fossil fuels. finally, boulder, colorado, debates whether to become a of the occupied west bank. >> the scope of the human rights violations is enormous. this is not just based on israeli information. >> for those who claim they are appalled by human rights issues, they should be appalled by human rights issues. it is appalling. it is appalling the way israel
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is impoverishing the palestinian people in the west bank and the gaza strip. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the world is mourning the loss of the music legend prince. >> dearly beloved we are here to get through this thing called life oh, no, let's go ♪ amy: that's prince, performing "let's go crazy" at the 2007 super bowl. he died at his home in minnesota thursday at the age of 57. he became a global music phenomenon in the 1980's, with albums such as "1999," "purple rain" and "sign o' the times." his inventive music spanned funk, rock and jazz while his
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gender-bending performances shattered expectations of gender and sexuality. president obama released a statement saying -- "today, the world lost a creative icon. few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent," he wrote. across the country, fans and fellow artists celebrated prince's legacy, including stevie wonder, who spoke with cnn's anderson cooper. >> he just passionately loved music. it is like when musicians can jam, there's nothing like it in the whole world. >> i don't agree on the spot, but is any song you want to sing a little of work play a little of? i don't want to put you on the spot if you're not up for it. >> i think it would probably break down if i do a song right now. but -- you know, he was incredible. i am just glad that i was able
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to say to him, "i love you" the last time that i saw him. amy: today is earth day, and climate is on the world's agenda as more than 60 heads of state are slated to meet at the united nations headquarters to sign the paris climate agreement aimed at slowing climate change. this comes as the earth has experienced 11 straight months of record-shattering temperatures. experts say the greenhouse gas cuts promised in the paris climate deal are insufficient to avert dangerous global warming. we will have more on the paris agreement signing with antonia juhasz later in the broadcast. meanwhile, scientists say the great barrier reef is more than 90% bleached, a result of warming ocean temperatures due to climate change. severe reef bleaching kills coral, which is home to a quarter of all marine species. james cook university professor terry hughes, who led the research, tweeted -- "i showed the results of aerial surveys of #bleaching on the #greatbarrierreef to my students, and then we wept."
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mexican oil giant pemex has raised the death toll from wednesday's petrochemical plant explosion to 24. another 136 people were injured. it is the latest in a series of deadly disasters at pemex facilities in recent years. meanwhile, mexican president enrique pena nieto has proposed legalizing marijuana-based medicine and releasing some prisoners serving time on minor marijuana charges. -- minor drug charges. this comes as a number of latin american countries pushed back on u.s.-led war on drug policies during the special assembly in the u.n. this week. suicide rates in the u.s. have hit a 30-year high, with particularly high surges in the rates for women and middle-aged people. researchers pointed to an drug epidemic among white americans and increasing economic instability. harvard professor robert putnam said -- "this is part of the larger emerging pattern of evidence of the links between poverty, hopelessness and health."
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in new york city, the board of election's chief clerk, diane haslett-rudiano, has been suspended without pay after the election board purged of more than 120,000 brooklyn democratic voters from the rolls ahead of monday's primary. the new york attorney general office's office received more than 1000 complaints on election day. both his office and the city comptroller have launched investigations. the head of a western-backed rescue group in syria known as the white helmets has been refused entry into the united states, where he was slated to receive a humanitarian award. raed saleh landed at washington's dulles international airport on monday, only to be told his visa was canceled. he was put on a flight back to turkey. the state department has refused to provide details. his group, the syria civil defence, is famous for coordinating thousands of volunteers to rescue people trapped in rubble after airstrikes. britain has issued a formal travel warning to lgbt travelers leaving to mississippi and north carolina following the passage
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of anti-lgbt laws in the two states. this comes as a handful of other u.s. states are considering similar anti-lgbt legislation. fbi director james comey has suggested the agency paid around $1 million to hack into the iphone of suspected san bernardino shooter syed farook, after apple refused to offer the fbi a backdoor into the phone. the legal battle between the fbi and apple ended when the fbi said it had cracked the iphone without apple's help. and family members and friends have launched a five-day vigil and hunger strike to mark the first anniversary of the death of samuel harrell, an african-american man who died on april 21, 2015, after as many as 20 corrections officers kicked, punched and threw him down a , flight of stairs while he was incarcerated at the fishkill correctional facility in beacon, new york. the group of officers who assaulted harrell are known as the "beat up squad." activists gathered outside the prison thursday night where jeff
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golden spoke out. >> exactly year ago tonight, a gentle 30-year-old man who is doing time in a drug charge was brutally murdered by as many as 20 corrections officers, all of whom are still on active duty. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on a 100-city tour marking democracy now!'s 20th anniversary. tonight we had to colorado college. right now we are broadcasting from denver, colorado. u.s. treasury secretary jack lew has announced new $20 bills will feature iconic abolitionist harriet tubman on the front, replacing former president and slave owner andrew jackson. >> harriet tubman is one of the great american stories. a woman born a slave, and literate her whole life. she brought many people out of slavery through the underground railroad by thomas again risking
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her life to save others. she did intelligence for our army during the civil war. after she worked to get the woman suffrage movement going. it is a great american story. any code that was the u.s. secretar treasury secretary. the move comes after more than a half a million people voted for harriet tubman to replace jackson. but in fact, jackson will not be removed entirely, simply moved to the back of the bill. some have criticized the idea that harriet tubman should represent u.s. currency at all. in a 2015 essay that went viral again yesterday, writer feminista jones wrote -- "if having harriet tubman's face on the $20 bill was going to improve women's access to said bill, i'd be all for it. but instead, it only promises to distort tubman's legacy. rooted in resisting the foundation of american capitalism." well, for more, we're joined by
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two guests. in new york, steven thrasher is a weekly columnist for the guardian u.s., where he wrote a piece headlined, "to put harriet tubman on the $20 bill would be an insult to her legacy." here in denver, we're joined by winston grady-willis, professor and chair of african and african american studies at metropolitan state university of denver. we welcome you both to democracy now! we're going to start with the professor here in denver, colorado. whoessor, talk about harriet tubman was. give us a thumbnail sketch of this remarkable woman's life. >> she was remarkable indeed. she was born into slavery in maryland. she was initially slated to work in the big house, but was seen as being too recalcitrant.
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and so was placed in the field, which is the experience for the large number of enslaved african women and men. amy: she was born in 1822 in the eastern shore of maryland? >> correct. in maryland. she would eventually escape from slavery, but realized that her own individual freedom from chattel slavery simply was not enough. so she dedicated the rest of her life to this ongoing mission to free family members, friends, individuals who did not know her directly. she became the most prominent conductor with the underground railroad. like 10 escaped slavery years after frederick douglass from the same area. he also in slate. he goes north, becomes a world renown speaker against slavery. but she comes back to the place where she had been brutalized.
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they said she experienced these epileptic-like seizures because she had been beaten so badly around her head. >> that's right. she would live with his lifelong disability, yet help empower indivials to eape from slavery and the keyhing, th relatiship beten dglass d tubman, douglass alongith surgery and are tru are quinssentialxamples of olitioni. tubm is what would cl a mitary abotionist. many folks would refer to her as moses. a number of enslaved africans, others in the underground railroad, often return to her -- refer to her as the general. amy: talk about -- she not only was a conductor him as they say, on the underground railroad, coming back and freeing hundreds of slaves, but she fought in the civil war. quite she did indeed. she was a spy.
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she was a scout. riverd the raid down the in the low country of south carolina. it was a nighttime raid in which she led forces that you -- u.s. army forces often refer to them as union forces, who freed dozens of enslaved africans, eventually hundreds, under confederate fire. not a single individual was lost. amy: after her position fighting in the civil war, it occurred decades to get a pension. >> absolutely. it was a decade-long struggle and then when she finally did receive that pension, it was an absolute pittance. no question about it will stop amy: and slave owners put a bounty on her head? >> yes. often we think about the bounty shakur has on her
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head, i'm reminded that there is a long tradition of individuals whog back to tubman herself were deemed such a threat to the status quo. amy: steven thrasher, you wrote about harriet tubman replacing the slave owning president andrew jackson on the front of the bill, being pushed to the back of the bill. your thoughts on this iconic abolitionist, her face on the most used bill in the united states? >> i have mixed feelings about it. i don't disagree with anything a professor said about what a wonderful, fantastic american she was. i do understand people who think this is an opportunity to have her have more visibility, but i'm really concerned about -- harriet tubman was a slave herself. she could have been bought or sold with the $20 bill. her work was about undoing the system of oppression of african americans. i really worry that in being
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placed on the bill that will be sort of a way of papering over her true legacy and be a way to just say that things are being taking care of a no longer problematic. i would be entirely for the harriet tubman reparations act. i would be all for having something happen where harriet tubman was used to address the economic inequality of african-americans still to this day. but i am worried about seeing her face on this bill, starting to see her face on mattress sales or electronic store sales or things like that, and just seeing the american dollar consume one of our heroes who is really about undoing the ways that american capitalism used their bodies to capitalize this country. amy: i want to read you a quote from npr pointing out that putting have been on the $20 bill would be poetic because of "a special historical resonance:
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that's the same amount she eventually received from the u.s. government as her monthly pension for her service as a nurse, scout, cook and spy during the civil war, as well as for her status as the widow of a veteran." steven thrasher, your response? >> i would be more persuaded that that was useful now if we were to place where african-americans and african-american women were earning equal pay and had equal wealth. the fact of the matter is, right now white families have about 12 times the wealth of lack families in this country. black women earned something like $.64 on the dollar to white men. so we're still living in a time that over the course of decades and centuries has been created and economic inequality from the time that harriet tubman was doing her work. these things have not been addressed. we have, of course, racial disparities that happened across
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millions of people, but there are specific companies like edna insurance, they ensured slaves, made her money off slaves, made their wealth off of slaves that very much fueled the economy of this nation for hundreds of years and that led to these disparities that we still have. those specific things are not being addressed. ,o they did take harriet tubman one of our best images and best people who was fighting that, and can now put her on the dollar that is still economically oppressing black people, i think really misses a very important point. amy: professor winston grady-willis, this whole issue of her representing capitalism? >> i think that steven thrasher makes a really important point. this piece is excellent. he and a number of other individuals, political prisoner, s, make veryter important points here.
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in many ways, i'm actually in agreement. but at the end of the day, perhaps the practical bones in my body, i think having tubman as the face on the $20 bill actually provides an opportunity for a number of us to go beyond an elementary school narrative and discussion of her life and legacy. she is an extraordinary figure. and given the place of enslaved african men and women, specifically the marginalization of enslaved african women, the absolute absence of ownership over their bodies, tubman's activism, her agency stands in stark contrast to that. i think it is very, very important for folks to not only understand that, but to also
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come in a society in which there whenn -- heroism connected, when gendered, when seen in connection to womanhood is often always placed in exclusively white terms, to have tubman given prominence in this way is profoundly important. something that should not -- amy: i'm going to put this quote to professor winston grady-willis, running -- several people have suggested that tubman on the front, jackson on the back is a late april fools joke. where are the product of a 420 bench. it is neither. it is america." and for our viewers and listeners around the world, outside of colorado, you can explain what a 420 binge is before you respond. >> i think i may have had some
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students in class who may have been recuperating from that celebration of marijuana use. amy: 420, folks, which we just passed, we were careful on the roads, but april 20 it's a celebration of marijuana. because it is legal in colorado, and enormous day. but what about that? jackson on the back and tubman on the front? >> andrew jackson is arguably a war criminal. he is someone who was unapologetic. -- unapologetic slaveholder. an individual who played a critical role as respected the genocide of indigenous populations. the position hourly of the juxtaposition, this woman who escapes slavery, who would go on to command the respect of u.s. army generals to sort of supplant jackson, that is not
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lost on any of us. it is not lost on any of us. amy: jackson was one of 18 presidents who owned slaves. interestingly, he was not only a slave owner, but participated in the genocide against the indigenous population, the check of people calling him sharp knife, indicating his extreme violence against them. >> absolutely, absolutely. again, with all of the contradictions, the ironies that are in play here, what cannot be lost is that those of us who do the work for grassroots activists, whether educators, we have an adjective -- responsibility to take this moment and celebrate tubman on their own terms. we have seen already that the mainstream corporate media that individuals in high places often will have a particular narrative, whether it is on dr. king and his holiday -- which is
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really a social justice movement holiday -- that it is incumbent upon us, our obligation to take this moment in terms of the $20 tubman's place, what she represents in terms of what womanhood, like agency, and the bedrock and central importance that blacks themselves played during the was civil war. amy: we're going to switch gears right now, but i will ask both of you to stay on with us. the world is mourning the loss of the hugely acclaimed and influential musical sensation prince. he died thursday at his home in minnesota at the age of 57. prince became a global musical phomenon in the 1980's, wh albums such as "1999," "purple rain" and "sign o' the times." his music spanned funk, rock and jazz and he sold more than 100 million records during his career. on thursday, president obama released a statement on facebook that read in part -- "today, the world lost a creative icon. few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people
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with their talent." steven thrasher, your new piece for the guardian is called, "prince broke all the rules about what black american men should be." take it from there. >> like everyone else, i was extremely shocked and sad when i heard about prince's death and did not know to make about it right away and wasn't sure what i could add to what this genius had offer. i quickly started thinking about the ways he really frightened me as a young man, yet i could not look away. i grew up by racial command black and white. my father was black and my mother was white. i was often straddling what it meant to be a white person, a black person. prince spoke to me both in the way that he dealt with race in a very explicit way, and that he was also like me, kind of light-skinned, but very much owned being a black person. i was absolutely thrilled and terrified when he spoke back to warner bros., when hwrote
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"slave" on his cheek. i was trying to think about the connections between him and harriet tubman. prince really dealt with economics on his own terms. he said he wasn't going to do whatever warner bros. or his publisher wanted him to do, he was going to take ownership of his own music and chart his own path. i found that really inspiring and terrifying. also as a queer person who did not know i was gay when i was quite young, i found prince to the lading and really frightening. again, i cannot look away because he of this quality that was profoundly sexual, but created a broader sense of sexuality than i was used to. he had a way that i thought was very paradoxical of trying to expand the notion of what it meant to be a man and yet the same time, he was really
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deconstructing gender. he was not owning be a man or woman. in retrospect, of course i was not thinking of this in junior high school, but when i think back on the work done around race and gender and identity to this time, i realize seeing prince was one of the first times i saw some who refused to live in a binary. when he named himself the artist formally known as prince or used that symbol, he was really refusing to play by the game that society have put forth for him and said, i'm going to do this on my own terms. super fascinating to read yesterday about what it meant when you put that symbol out because at the time, we did not have emojis orthographic environment we have with the internet now. newspapers literally could not print that symbol and a some point they had to send out floppy disks the publication so they could have a special font to be a little prince that. i was thinking about the way it meant to be a man, gender, black and an american.
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or --nd finally, prevents professor winston grady-willis? significance, growing up here in colorado was that there, point where just in terms of the culture wars around music, when i was in high school and in college, those individuals that gravitated toward r&b, disco on the one hand, those individuals who proudly proclaim they were rockers, this was often a rationalized -- racialized dynamic. often found themselves on the dance floor, all grooving to prince. this was really, really important coulter early, important personally and the gender piece is really important. for those of us who are userosexual, prince forced to really interrogate gender
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norms in ways in which we are often not comfortable. i still remember to this day, every time date part would introduce -- dick clark would introduce prince, there was this unease. at the same time, this incredible respect for his genius. amy: i wt to thk you both for being with us, steven u.s..er, guardian f we will put a link to your. tubman peace "to put harriet , tubman on the $20 bill would be an insult to her legacy." winston grady-willis is professor and chair of africana african american studies at metropolitan state university of denver. when we come back, the first african-american woman to own a pot dispensary, marijuana dispensary here in colorado. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "money don't matter tonight" by the late, great, gender bending, rock 'n roll, jazz, funk him of the legend prince who died at the age of 57. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're on our 100-city tour marking democracy now!'s 20th anniversary. today, we are in denver, colorado, tonight i will be speaking at colorado college in colorado springs. here in colorado, 2012, the state voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. marijuana has become an established part of the economy here. there are mineral on a spin threes -- that are marijuana dispensaries on ministry corners. now 23 states and the district of columbia have legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational use, and the cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing in the united states. but some have questioned who stands to cash in the biions bei generat by caabis sal. michel alexand, the bestelling ahor of, he new jim ow: massncarceration in
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the age of colorblindness," addressed the issue in a conversation with the drug policy alliance. >> in many ways, the imagery doesn't -- you know, here are white men poised to run big marijuana businesses, dreaming of cashing in big, big money, big businesses selling weed. after 40 years of impoverished black kids getting prison time selling weed, and their families and futures are destroyed now? white man are planning to get rich doing precisely the same thing. amy: the marijuana arrest research project reports that between 2001 and 2010, colorado police made 108,000 arrests for marijuana possession. african-americans were more than 10% of those arrests, but are less than 4% of colorado's residents. for more we're joined by wanda james, ceo of the denver-based cannabis dispensary simply pure. she is the african-american first woman in colorado to own a cannabis dispensary. she's also managing partner of cannabis global initiative.
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welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. for people hearing you are publicly saying that you own a pot dispensary, explain the alternative reality here in colorado compared with everywhere else. >> sure. saying wen publicly own dispensary since 2009. this is not new to us. we became part of this hot industry or cannabis industry because of social justice. we wanted to be up to talk about this and political termsnd of the elder bring normalcy to the idea that cannabis is a part of the american lifestyle and the american fabric. this is something i am very proud about out of all the things i'm done of my life, i would say this is probably the thing that i find -- amy: how does your dispensary work? >> well, like any other retail operation that you would go through, you have to be licensed
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by the state. you have to work within the realm of the rules and regulations, which are many. but over the age of 21, you can come into a dispensary am a show your id, and buy cannabis and cannabis-infused products. amy: that only actual marijuana, but you specialize in edibles. >> yes. simply pure was an edible company in 2010, now it dispensary. my husband is one of the best-known shen of us -- cannabis chefs in the world. festivitiescal and like weddings and birthday parties. amy: hot-infused wedding cakes? >> absolutely. all meals. anything you eat, we can infuse. amy: talk about the disparities between marijuana arrest and sentencing for people of color outside of colorado and what
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this means and who profits from marijuana sales. >> this is the absurdity of thing people need understand what is happening here. america needs slave labor. what we see now is the privatized prison system. if you can name a corporation right now, they're profiting off of labor, enslaved labor. to fill those spots, they need to be out of put bodies into those prison systems. and those bodies right now are being collected on the streets of ameri throughannabis arrest we s last ale that 7-1000 peoe were aested fosimple posseson of cannabis. of those 700,000 people, you are four times more likely to be arrested if you are black. so when you start to look at the factor being targeted as a people for these arrest to become part of the prison system, to be able to work into
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slave labor, it becomes extremely concerning. amy: can you talk about what happened your brother? >> is 17 years old, he got caught wh 4.5 ouns in texas. he never saw an attorney. the judge may my brother a felon. my brother spent 4.5 years taking cotton for free in texas. i always stop on that note and say it again. blackckrother, my 17-year-old brother, spent 4.5 years picking cotton for free in texas to gain his freedom. that was in 1992. not 1892. this is absurd to me. and we discovered this, i became incensed. as a student on the campus of the university of colorado, we smoked cannabis regularly. police.d it in front of i did not know until i met my brother and 35 that people were actually arrested for cannabis. in my will the world of lawyers
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and doctors and college-educated jail fore don't go to cannabis. everybody else does. 700,000 arrests last year for cannabis possession. amy: if you have a criminal record for marijuana, how does that impact your ability to enter the industry? >> you can't. you have to be 10 years removed from any kind of a drug felon. you can of other felonies and other issues with the law and stl own dispearies in lorado, however, you cannot have any drug felonies. it has become externally difficult to get into the industry. and i also have to point out that the negative perception given to people of color through churches and through our elected officials also helps stop the people from wanting to be involved in this industry. which is another travesty that we are once again being left out of, this brand-new industry, and
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one of the largest industries that we will see in this country. amy: talk about the denver city council restricting new pot businesses in the city. what are your thoughts? >> what sparked that was they said there were too many grow facilities in poor neighborhoods. however, denver city council is the one who controls zoning and the once who told us where we had to be and where we were allowed to grow. five years later, they figure that are too many there, even of these organizations had been good neighbors, cleaned up the hire have hired people for which jobs, which is always a positive in this industry. amy: the black community in colorado, it's position on pot legalization? >> i cnot speak for the entire black community, but i will say the response to me and peopl wanting to work for me is overwhelming. i get letters daily from people wanting to be a part of the industry, wanting to be working in our dispensary from college
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educated people to people that are just starting out will stop amy: can you talk about the role of women, particularly black women in this white male dominated industry? >> is almost nonexistent for black women. there are few to none. i've asked the question many times. is an extremely limited number. --en in this under street industry are coming. go. within about 36% of the management positions in this industry are women. ownership.% to 22% jes, thanyou for joining us. wanda james is ceo of simply pure, a denver-based cannabis dispensary, and managing partner of cannabis global initiative.
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this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we move on right now, today is earth day. climate is on the world's agenda as more than 60 heads of state will meet at the united nations headquarters to sign the paris agreement aimed at slowing climate change. many countries still need to formally approve the agreement, which will only enter into force when it is ratified by 55 nations that account for 55% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. this comes as the first three months of 2016 broke temperature records and 2015 was the warmest year on record. experts say the cuts promised in the deal are insufficient to avert dangerous global warming. on thursday, demonstrators gathered in paris to highlight the oil industry's role in climate change. >> so we are gathering outside the radio this morning because it is the international oil
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summit, which gathers major oil industries and some organizations such as opec will stop as paris climate agreement will be ratified tomorrow in new yo. we want to underline there's a huge contradictions is the tomate agreement is to limit 1.5 degrees, the commitment of all countries. if the oil industry continues that way, we will overpass three degrees, which is the climate and balance threshold and that is what the situation will become difficult to deal with. amy: here in the united states, gulf coast communities marked the sixth anniversary of the bp oil spill by demanding no new drilling. last month, they held protests outside the superdome in new orleans, which hosted an auction by the interior department for 45 million acres in the offshore gulf of mexico for new oil and gas drilling. for more we are joined her in denver by reporter antonia juhasz. her new report in rolling stone headlined "six years after bp , gulf oil spill, residents demand 'no new drilling," and she has a piece in newsweek headlined "paris was just a way , station in the climate change fight." you can read her feature article in "ms." magazine about, "women
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take on climate change." her most recent book is, "black tide: the devastating impact of the gulf oil spill." it is great to have you back with us. these ree thin are converging. it is earth day, the paris climate agreement that will be signed at the u.n. today, the sixth anniversary of the bp oil spill. most important thing for the sixth anniversary of the oil spill is at this point, government, industry, the public have learned the lessons of this disaster. and for, those first two categories, government and industry, are not implementing any of those lessons. president obama is expanding offshore oil drilling dramatically in the gulf of mexico, proposal to expand it in the arctic, continuing production in california and the pacific, and hoping to continue to expand drilling in the gulf of mexico as well. and that is in face of the interior department trying to put in place new regulations to
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make offshore drilling safer, including 500 pages worth of new regulations released just last week. but every expert i have spoken to including the u.s. chemical safety board has set his regulations just do not go far enough in the lessons have not been implemented. the likelihood of another macondo-like blowout is still very, very real. the good news is, of those groups, the groups that have learned the lessons increasingly so is the public. in my six years of covering this disaster, i don't think i've ever seen anything like that protest at the superdome. just the numbers of people from all across the gulf coast coming out to say, you know what? we don't want anymore of this. the costs are too high. the environment all costs, the economic cost, the collapse of the economy. the climate costs. what we're seeing in the gulf coast is reflected all across the country and all across the world where polls are showing
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really dramatic changes in public opinion, not just globally, but in the u.s. with almost 75% of americans now preferring to pursue alternative energy instead of oil and gas development. and that includes, for the first time, a majority of republicans proposing alternative energy to oil and gas. which means, for example, the republican candidates for president are not reflecting the views of the republican population, but instead what we're seeing is a population that is saying -- embracing the idea of keep it in the ground. amy: what is happening at the united nations today, some 60 heads of state will be there to sign the paris agreement. it's significance? >> this was 196 countries of greed in paris in december that were going to make a global to mimic to reduce carbon emissions and aimed to keep warming 1.5 degrees celsius above
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preindustrial levels. that commitment is important. there was money behind it, some legally binding portions to it. but the key point missing is the point i said the public is getting, which governments are not getting and is not an agreement, which is the need to give fossil fuels in the ground. the u.n. itself has said at a minimum, three force of existing fossil fuels need to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophe. the paris agreement, nowhere in into the words "oil" "natural "fossil fuels" appear. that allows for the government of saudi arabia to have a plan within the climate agreement, which is they're going to increase domestic production of oil and gas, export it out of the country, and use that money to fund ultimate of energy development at home. that is backwards. amy: interesting president obama was in saudi arabia this week.
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>> our relations with the saudis and compass a lot of thing. oil is suddenly one of them. there's a lot of debate about trying to get saudi arabia to choose to reduce the production to help address the price of oil, at the same time to reduce more oil and gas to save the climate -- produce more oil and gas to save it,. celebratinge you this earth day? >> the keep it in the ground movement. there been protest trying to hold releasing the oil and gas development, including, as i said, in the gulf of mexico. and this global movement that is getting much, much, much larger to keep it in the ground and see those answers, even in response responseperly govement indtry. amy:ntonia jasz, thank you
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for being with us. her new report in rolling stone is headlined, "six years after bp gulf oil spill, residents demand 'no new drilling'." her story in newsweek is called, "paris was just a way station in the climate change fight." we will have a link to all of her articles. isn we come back, boulder debated whether to become a sissy city or -- a sister city to nablis. we will host a debate. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "seven" by prince. prince has died at the age of 57. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're on our 100 city tour. we end today's show with a look how boulder, colorado, where we are broadcasting from today, debating an international conflict. this week the boulder city council agreed to hire a moderator and convene a citizen panel over a proposal to make boulder sister city of nablus, in thesraeli-oupied we bank. a group of residents applied to the city council to recognize nablus as a sister city, writing -- "boulder and nablus have so much in common that they are natural
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sisters for each other. but a previous effort to recognize nablus as a sister city was voted down in after a 2013 contentious, hours-long hearing. >> number one, the scope of the human rights violations is enormous here. this is not just based on my say so or israeli information, it is based on palestinian reports as well that a reporting egregious conditions in nablus and drop the west bank with respect to honor killings of women, with respect to persecution of gays, with respect to torture, with respect to desecration and lack of access to jewish religious shrines. multiple, multiple times. >> for those who claim they are appalled by human rights issues, they should be appalled human
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rights issues. it is appalling. it is appalling the way that israel is impoverishing the palestinian people in the west bank and the gaza strip for 40 some years now. amy: we turn now to a debate between two boulder residents. essrea cherin is board chair of the boulder-nablus sister city project, which applied for nablus to be officially recognized aa sisterity of boulde and bruce shaffer is a retired attorney who opposes the plans. we welcome you both to democracy now! inerestingly, you both came on the same car, so you're good together for an hour debating this. i want just at with you, essrea cherin. explain why it is you have been pushing for nablus to be the sister city to your city, boulder. >> the reason i have been promoting and working on a sister city relationship is ownarily because of my
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journey in terms of having spent time in palestine and recognizing the people of palestine are portrayed quite the opposite of how they are in rely. in mainstream media. i will not say on democracy now! but in most media portrayals in the u.s., palestinians are depicted in the darkest of lights. and most people really struggle to even conjure an image of the palestinian person who could be just like you and i. sitting round a table at a tv station in nablus. indeed, they are. in my visit to palestine, it became quite evident to me that the people of the united states
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need to have opportunities to get to know palestinians. amy: what would it mean to designate2 as an of facial sister city of nablus? >> it is a mere formality. it does not signify much. it is a procedural event so when we apply to city council, council has this resolution 631 that it takes the confines of our sister city relationship. they have enlisted a bunch of criteria that they ask any group of citizens to meet. if any group of citizens which is to create a sister city relationship, they are welcome to do so. right now we have seven. and these are the criteria, this is the resolution we must follow. and so we took it upon ourselves wedo as they have asked, and take it before the city council. the procedure is essentially,
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did you fit the criteria, yes or no? if you did, boom. amy: bruce shaffer, what is your problem with this? >> first of all, the project is essentially political in that it serves the purpose of advocating for palestine. and when they do that as a private organization, but under the city's resolution, it establishes a sister city framework, the sister city relationship may not be political. that is what objection. the second one the resolution requires that the sister city emphasizuman rigs. and this case, t project turns a blind e to somvery severe human rigs abusein paleine. fact, the tha in sisterity relaonship fls the commocharactestics test required under the resolutn.
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i wod add fothly tt the nduct ofhe sistecity projecto thisate doenot demonstrate that they would really be a good ambassador for boulder. >> i want to turn to some of the letters written by boulder students to their pen pals in the west bank. in one letter, student ellie wrote to pen pal misk -- "i am glad to hear from you again! your summer sounded a lot like mine." another student, hannah, wrote to pen pal masa -- "will you tell me about eid? i would like to learn about other holidays." wrote,nablus student "dear my friend in america, when i will be they, i want to be an eye doctor so i can help people." can you talk, essrea cherin, about what bruce shaffer just said and what it means to formalize -- your hourly operating as a sister city informally? >> yes, we are operating exactly
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as all of the other sister cities currently do. to his point about this being a political organization promoting camino, whatever, a palestinian perspective -- amy: he said it was political. >> political, ok. so it is difficult to separate out politics from life. whygoal is -- this is president eisenhower established sister cities international. his political and was to foster a more peaceful world. -- aim was to foster more peaceful world, encouraging cities to reach out to each other, perhaps the more challenging cities to reach out and create relationships will promote a more peaceful world, which is a political outcome. but what i would clarify, though, is that there is a
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difference between political realities and political advocacy. so mr. shafer has enumerated all sorts of examples of when we have sent volunteers to nablus and a come back and they talk about their experiences. --ir experiences include they' not cometely, b they do ilude disssing th politil realities of the citins of naus stays out oftself politics. so we engage citizen to citizen opportunities. amy: boulder has an interesting history with sister cities, bruce shaffer. in the 1980's when president reagan was supporting the contras in nicaragua. yes, you had a sister city from boulder to nicaragua. moment, nowe a
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there is mediation that has been set up, or you could accept nablus is a sister city? groupould essrea cherin's have to do that with satisfy your concerns? >> let me make clear, express only my own concerns. i don't sit here representative of any group or organization. they would have to get the program -- gut the program of political advocacy they engage in. the mayor, in establishing this relationship said, go home and advocate for palestine. project hope, which is the destination for the volunteers, say, go home and advocate for palestine. essrea cherin is on record as saying, we are in this to present a one-sided perspective and to end the occupation. and back home, that is exactly what we hear from the volunteers . that is our end of the exchange, is tales of the occupation -- amy: bruce shaffer, would you be
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for the end of the occupation? would you support that? >> yes. sria.let me end with e how many other cities in the u. are sisr cities with palestinians? >> there are four cities in the united states that are sister with palestinians. florida,gainesville, that also has a sister in israel. and there is cambridge, burlington, sacramento all sistererd with a plan. amy: we will continue to follow that discussion because it is being mediated in boulder and clearly going to go on. that does it for our show. thank you to essrea cherin and thank you to essrea cherin and bruce shafr
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narrator: europe is perhaps the region most associated with supranationalism-- the voluntary association of three or more countries. one example of supranationalism is the european union-- an economic alliance designed to improve european competitiveness in the world economy. but this alliance is more than just economic. it is also europe's attempt to forge a community with common values, even as individual state identity is maintained. strasbourg is located on the border of france and germany and has endured centuries of conflict between those two nations. today, it is one seat of the european union-- a symbol of modern unity. as political boundaries become more permeable, perceptions of place change as well as deeper, more personal meanings of national identity.

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